Sommelier Courtney Humiston ’11, CIA is a Lifelong Resource

Courtney Humiston, Brand Manager, Carpenter Wine

CIA Alumni Bio

Courtney Humiston’s many years as a freelance writer and editor in New York City included a year-long stint covering the city’s dining scene for NBC. One of the perks of her job was the chance to sample culinary creations from some of the world’s top chefs and exposure to the wonderful and complex world of wine. The latter truly piqued Courtney’s interest. She decided to make a life change and moved to the Napa Valley in 2010 to study at the Culinary Institute of America in the Accelerated Wine and Beverage Program under the tutelage of Christie Dufault and Bob Bath.

Deep Dive into Wine

“Bob and Christie bring so much dedication and enthusiasm about wine and hospitality to the classroom; it is contagious! They are two of the most loved and respected people in the industry, and their knowledge and experience is second to none,” says Courtney, brand manager at Carpenter Wines in Healdsburg, CA. “I learned to taste systematically with focus and discipline, and to pay attention to what is happening in the wine. I learned about the fundamentals of wine and spirits, which has empowered me to ask the right questions and continue my education while I’m working in the industry. Being in the heart of a wine-growing region when you are studying wine is crucial. Every week, we would visit wineries and vineyards, meet with winemakers, watch fermentation, walk the vines, and taste directly from barrels. This hands-on approach to learning really cements what you read about and helps you understand wine on a deeper level.”

In addition to her duties at Carpenter’s, Courtney is a wine consultant, wine judge, columnist for 7×7 magazine, and wine educator. “I believe in telling the story of wine, whether through a creative and thoughtfully written wine list, on the floor talking to guests, or through a magazine article,” Courtney says. “As a wine professional, I am committed to elevating the quality of wine and wine service in this country.”

A Life Long Resource

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Certified Sommelier Courtney Humiston majored in wine and beverage at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA. She is the brand manager at Carpenter Wines in Healdsburg, CA.